It was another unimpressive showing from the Mariners offense Saturday night as the Mariners fell to the Angels 11-5. In his first start back from an All-Star break DL stint, Felix Hernandez was tagged for seven earned runs through 2.2 innings as the Angels had more runs in roughly 30 minutes than the Mariners have scored in nearly a week. The M’s offensive woes continued as Nelson Cruz did literally everything within his power, slugging home runs each of first two at-bats. The bats finally got going in the 8th, but only after the Angels opted for mop-up reliever Noé Ramirez.
Now losers of 12 of their last 18 games, being passed by the A’s seems to be a forgone conclusion, yet somehow, miraculously, the Mariners have done just enough to cling to their lead, as the A’s lost their second straight to Colorado sometime after I wrote this sentence. Many of us expected a rough stretch like this at some point during the second half, and I guess it’s good that it’s coming before Tuesday’s trade deadline, as there’s still a little time left to plug the holes on this suddenly sinking ship. Two of the team’s most glaring holes as the race for the Wild Card enters August, center field and starting pitcher, were again negative contributors tonight, and it’s become now more evident than ever that this team needs a catalyst beyond that that Robbie, Erasmo, and Sam Tuivailala can provide. As the deadline approaches, it’s going to be a real tough sell for this fan base if the front office ties to sell Cano and Erasmo as our “big deadline additions” with how unimpressive the club’s been of late.
For me personally, the frustration with his game started hours before Jaime Barria threw his first pitch, as Ryon Healy was given the start against a right-hander who he entered the game 0-6 against while Vogey again was relegated to bench duty. Following a second straight 0-4 performance from Healy—and Vogelbach picking up a single after entering the game late—it’s possible that our Large Adult Son draws a start tomorrow against another right-handed starter.
With the A’s opening a series against the Toronto to start next week and the M’s scheduled to take on the Astros—although it’s worth noting they’ll be without both Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa—avoiding a sweep by salvaging the series finale tomorrow would provide a nice little margin for error as the calendar turns to August.